Tuesday, November 24, 2009

How about a Ski?

There are few things that I have a true weakness for. I don't smoke, gamble, and I only gossip the slightest bit. However, I do truly love an ice cold Ski. If you don't currently live east of the Mississippi River, then you might not know what I am talking about.

When I was a child my father, the renowned Mr. B, was in the Air Force. That meant that we lived far away from Smalltownland. Each summer we would load up the car and come to stay with my grandparents here in Kentucky. For me....that meant Ski soda in an icy cold bottle. We would visit my Uncle William and Aunt Jane at their house out in the country. We would sit in lawn chairs under the shade tree and enjoy an ice cold Ski. And, I do mean ice cold. For those of you who enjoy soda from a glass bottle, you know that it is just a better, colder drink than from a can. Uncle William always drank his Ski from a bottle.

My uncle would bring us each a Ski and there would be "bits" of stuff that had settled at the bottom of the bottle. The Double Cola company claims that Ski is one of the only all-natural sodas. The recipe contains real orange juice and lemon concentrates. Thus, the magical, "stuff", that was at the bottom of the bottle. You would take the bottle and gently swirl and/or turn the bottle upside down. This would mix the contents and the soda would be ready to drink.

Here are a couple of the older Ski bottles. These days Ski, of course, comes in cans. In fact there has been some voting going on about the can design. If you are interested you can read more about that here.



Ski was actually created in 1956. It is somewhat comparable to the sodas, Sundrop and Mt. Dew. However, I think it is much, much better. Smalltownland bottled Ski and Double Cola for many years. The bottling company, pictured below, was located just steps away from the old elementary school. At the end of each school year, the classes would walk to the bottling company for a tour. We would walk through the facility and at the end of the tour each of us received a bottle of Ski and a bag of chips. It was awesome.




Some people believe that Ski was actually developed here in Smalltownland. However, I discovered that it was invented in Chattanooga, Tennessee. Pity. We do have some other claim to fame. The Kentucky Headhunters, a country music group, produced a song entitled, "Dumas Walkers". A song about a small town dive restaurant where you can get a, "slaw burger, fries, and a bottle of Ski". This little dive really exists in Smalltownland and it was the inspiration for the song. It is still open and you can really get a slaw burger and a bottle of Ski. A restaurant that is not for the faint of heart, and in fact it might deserve a blog post entirely of its own....

All of this info and history is totally applicable to the recipe for Ski Cake that will soon be forthcoming. My son, The Deerslayer, says that I have referred to this drink as, "my sweet nectar". I am sure I have never done so.....

7 comments:

  1. I have never heard of Ski soda, thanks for sharing it's story! What fun history. I like soda in the bottle too....hard to find though, these days!

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  2. Now I will have the jingle in my head for a week, because we heard it every morning on the bus: "Drink Ski, when you feel happy, Drink Ski, when you feel blue, Drink Ski for sat-is-faction, Ski will make you feel like new!", etc.

    The downside to the all natural ingredients is that Ski will ferment if left in sufficient heat and light. When it reaches this epic state, it smells and tastes like skunked beer. (Don't leave your Ski in the bay windows of Blanding Tower at UK for an entire week during Spring Break, kids.)

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  3. My husband adores Ski. Of course I, being from the SouthWest, had no clue what Ski was other than a winter sport. It is quite refreshing.

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  4. Ahhh...Ski. My favorite drink in the whole world. Even better when mixed with vodka.

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  5. First of all, I live east of the Mississippi. And I grew up only one state away from you in WV. And I have never heard of a Ski.
    You have peaked my curiosity.
    I always wondered what the Kentucky Headhunters were talking about.
    Guess I'm gonna have to go to KY to get a taste.

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  6. I spent a great deal of my time growing up in Kentucky, but I don't remember Ski. I've recently been back twice to visit an Aunt and Cousin, but no Ski. I will surely be looking for it when I return in February. My Cousin owns a Gas station/Mini Mart...I'll bet he carries it. I'll be looking for your cake recipe.

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  7. All you will need is a hand full of pellets, a glass bottle, RS Glass Bottle

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